(Closed) California Road Trip – Need Tips – Part 2!

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 17
Member
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

kmarie719  The Marina is a nicer area of SF, but it’s not super close to what you might want to see (other than Fisherman’s Wharf). What about North Beach/Telegraph Hill? You can pretty much walk anywhere in the city from there. Are you doing Airbnb?  

Post # 18
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee

I live in Southern California, and totally agree with previous posters on skipping/shortening LA for longer in San Fran, or even San Diego.

I have stayed a bunch in San Diego (we go down from OC about once a month). The GL is super fun. Lots of resteraunts, clubs, shopping. Being by the beach is also awesome, and again lots of resteraunts, shopping, etc. I don’t think the Zoo or the Aquarium are worth it, but maybe thats just because I’ve gone a bunch. There are a few places to eat/drink if you want to pm me.

I would totally skip LA/Orange County, but again because I live in OC and see this stuff all the time.

As for Central and Northern CA (I lived in Monterey before moving here). I also agree. Carmel is amazing and you’re totally going to love driving Big Sur. I totally recommend driving the 1. It’s really the best way to see the CA coast. I’ve driven the 5 and it’s great if you’re trying to make good time, but nothing to see.

Hope that helps ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 19
Member
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Also, the Mission has some great restaurants and bars. I’d grab some food ice cream from Bi-Rite on Divisadero just down the street from Alamo Square where the painted ladies are (Full House).

 

Post # 20
Member
4045 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Our honeymoon had similar stops. We went from Las Vegas to Yosemite, San Francisco, LA, and San Diego.

LA is atrocious. You have to drive all over to get anywhere, and the driving was horrendous, no matter the time of day. My GPS would tell me I had a 25 minute drive, and it would take over an hour to get anywhere. Plus, Hollywood was super lame and grimey. I had no idea. I’d only spend one night and see the sights early in the morning before heading out. You really don’t need much time. I’d rather have that extra day for San Diego or San Francisco.

As for San Francisco, we stayed in the lower Marina area, near Lombard and Buchanan. I liked the location. We were right by the 30 bus, which took us everywhere we needed. I loved the area. It’s very close to North Beach too.

Post # 21
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Ok so I read through this pretty quickly but I didn’t see Santa Barbara on the stop list. Personally I have only been through Southern CA, but in that area Santa Barbara is totally worth a stop. There are artists that sell their goods right next to the beach and I bet it would be really nice to stop and check it out, at least for lunch maybe. My two cents! And the gaslamp district is super fun in San Diego! 

Post # 23
Member
2511 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

View original reply
@kmarie719:  

You will have to pull over at a lookout point in order for people to pass you & those are few & far between on the crazy part of the drive. Seriously, it’s a two lane road on a cliff. The road IS the side of the mountain. You’ll totally understand when you see it ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 23
Member
153 posts
Blushing bee

Great thread!

Post # 24
Member
31 posts
Newbee

I’ve lived in Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and LA.

I whole-heartedly disagree with the previous posters who say 1 day is enough to “see the sights” in LA. Yeah you might see the touristy Hollywood things, but that’s not really LA. 

I do agree that you can do Hollywood in a couple hours, afternoon/evening. Not much to see there, though celebrity hand-prints in front of the Chinese Theaters were actually really cool. What do you like to do? Are you into food? Drinks? Checking out neighborhoods? Architecture? Whenever I have friends visit LA, these are the places I take them:

  • Downtown LA: rooftops (I suggest Perch or Ace Hotel Rooftop), during the day or at night. Last Bookstore (google it), Bradbury Building, Arts District. If you’re into architecture, there are gorgeous buildings everywhere (especially in the Historic Core). Amazing art/murals all over the place also, but especially in the Arts District. Tons of good restaurants in the area as well.
  • Santa Monica, Malibu (could possibly do these together in 1 day)
  • Venice: the beach (it’s totally different than any other SoCal beach). High Rooftop Lounge. Walk the Venice Canals. I like to park around the canals, walk through them on my way to the beach.
  • Larchmont area: super cute cafes/restaurants/shops but also beauuutiful houses. Fun to drive around or walk through
  • Stahl House if you’re into architecture
  • Museums (there are LOTS): LACMA is awesome, also the location of Urban Lights installation for a great photo-op if you’re into that. 
  • Getty Villa
  • If you’re into hiking, there’s lots but Runyon Canyon is an easy one with awesome views, and it’s right in Hollywood so you can kill two birds with 1 stone
  • Roosevelt Hotel: if you’re already in Hollywood, its goooorgeous and very historic. Marylin Monroe used to live there. Beautiful architecture inside, you can just walk around and check it out, or grab a drink/food at one of the bars or restaurants.
  • Hollywood Bowl for a picnic/concert

I don’t love this blog, but she has some good suggestions for things to do (food, drinks, hikes, museums, etc.): http://cupcakesandcashmere.com/diy/updated-guide-to-la and http://cupcakesandcashmere.com/series-stories/my-guide-to-la 

To your San Francisco list, I would add Embarcadero/Ferry Building and Mission Dolores Park. If you’re into baseball or drinking beers, you could catch a baseball game at AT&T park if it’s still going on. Insane views in that stadium. SF does not have typical California weather and you will need a jacket. Download the SF climates app, it will give you weather for each neighborhood; it can be as different as 10-15+ degrees within a couple miles!

Santa Barbara is an awesome day trip, or a place to stop for a few hours.

What do you like to do? I can give better suggestions depending on what you’re into.

…also the locals never call it “San Fran”. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  girlinheels.
  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  girlinheels.
  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  girlinheels.
  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  girlinheels.
Post # 25
Member
31 posts
Newbee

Also the Painted Ladies are not the full house house(s?), as one of the PP’s mentioned; this is: http://www.yelp.com/biz/full-house-house-san-francisco-2. The Painted Ladies are just a row of (gorgeous) houses in a very famously-photographed location. Worth a visit for sure, but if you wanna see the Full House house, it’s in a different place. ๐Ÿ™‚

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